5 of our top TATE mode games on Evercade
The Evercade EXP, at launch, plays host to 21 games that are best experienced in TATE mode. TATE (pronounced tah-tay) is a Japanese word meaning vertical, and it describes games in which the screen is oriented vertically rather than horizontally — in other words, the longest edges are down the sides rather than at the top and bottom.
TATE mode games have been part of video game history since the earliest days of arcades. Titles which make use of this screen orientation have narrow, tall playfields and, if they scroll at all, tend to scroll vertically. It’s a style of presentation that is particularly associated with the shoot ’em up genre, but there are other titles out there which use TATE mode without giving your fire-button finger a workout.
Since most home monitors and TVs have a landscape (“YOKO“) orientation by default, many computer and console ports of games that were presented in TATE in the arcades featured a narrow playfield in the middle of the horizontal screen to simulate the original vertical display. Sometimes these titles also presented additional information in the “blank” borders — and some offered the facility to actually rotate the screen display sideways for those willing to pick up and turn their TV through 90 degrees. Easier said than done with a classic CRT, as anyone who has ever tried it will attest.
The Evercade EXP features a TATE mode button, which allows you to rotate any game and play it as originally intended, complete with dedicated controls for playing in this way. No heavy lifting required. So that’s what today is all about! Out of those 21 TATE titles available as of the Evercade EXP’s launch, which are our favourites? As always, these are by no means definitive picks as the “best” TATE mode games — they’re just ones we particularly like. Please feel free to share your own favourites via our social channels!
All right, let’s get to the hot sideways (or upright, depending on how you look at it) action.
TATE mode games go right back to the earliest days of gaming, and the classics on the Atari Arcade 1 collection provide some great examples to explore. The legendary Centipede and its follow-up Millipede make great use of the vertical format with gameplay that places a strong emphasis on taking out targets before they can get into a dangerous position. The TATE format allows you to take considerably longer-range shots than you would be able to on a horizontally oriented display.
Despite being superficially similar, Centipede and Millipede are noticeably distinct experiences from one another. Millipede offers a faster, more frantic and hectic experience than its predecessor, with more enemy types to deal with. It also features a playfield that “moves” with each passing stage (and when you shoot certain objects), which is another great use of the vertically oriented TATE display.
Don’t expect an easy ride, though; Millipede takes no prisoners!
Is BurgerTime from the Data East Arcade 1 collection a platform game or a maze game? It’s a question that’s confounded scientists for decades, but ultimately the answer doesn’t really matter; it was designed to be played on a vertical monitor with its strong emphasis on climbing up and down ladders and thus, of course, it plays great on the Evercade EXP in TATE mode.
In BurgerTime, you take on the role of chef Peter Pepper as he creates burgers with his feet. What the paying public don’t know about these burgers can’t hurt them, which is probably for the best considering that they seem to be several times the size of a human man and under constant threat from sentient pickles.
Please note that playing BurgerTime in TATE mode on the Evercade EXP will not make it easier, it’ll just look nicer.
While vertically scrolling shoot ’em up Cybattler is arguably not the most well-known out of all the games on the Jaleco Arcade 1 cartridge, everyone who tries it is quickly blown away by its impressive visuals, spectacular action and slick gameplay. And it’s even better with the Evercade EXP’s TATE mode, because you can enjoy the glorious spectacle of this game as originally intended.
In Cybattler you take on the role of the charmingly named super-mech Blanche and blast your way through several levels of hot shooting action. One of the most distinctive things about the game is that your loadout of weapons changes from level to level, meaning that you’ll have to develop different tactics in order to succeed.
With multi-directional shooting and melee attacks to defeat close-up enemies, Cybattler is an all-action thrill ride from start to finish, and it looks simply spiffy in TATE mode.
Alcon, also known as Slap Fight, is an early title from Toaplan, the masters of the scrolling shoot ’em up, and can be found on the Toaplan Arcade 1 collection that released alongside the Evercade EXP. (Those who preordered a Limited Edition version of the Evercade EXP will already have this excellent cart in their collection!)
First released in 1986, Alcon casts you in the role of a fighter pilot for the Allied League of Cosmic Nations as you attempt to fight back against alien invaders led by a villain named Gaudy. Arcade players greatly enjoyed the game back on its original release in arcades, though the fact it saw a relatively limited number of boards manufactured means that it eventually became better known through its ports to home computers and consoles.
Alcon never received a direct sequel, though several of Toaplan’s later titles, including the legendary Truxton, are regarded as taking specific influences from it. It’s a challenging shoot ’em up, for sure, but its attractive presentation, catchy music and satisfying player-controlled powerup system makes this one you’ll keep coming back to.
1943: The Battle of Midway
And finally, we come to the games in the built-in Capcom Collection for the Evercade EXP. There are a number of great TATE mode games in this lineup of games, but one of this writer’s personal favourites is 1943: The Battle of Midway, which is part of Capcom’s long-running 194X series. These games began as simple World War II-inspired shoot ’em ups, but became increasingly “creative” in terms of historical accuracy as the series progressed.
1943: The Battle of Midway was first released in 1987, and casts players in the role of an American pilot attacking the Japanese air fleet and navy. While this might seem like an odd choice of subject matter for a Japanese developer, 1943: The Battle of Midway was specifically designed with a western audience in mind, and thus it was felt that being on the side of the American forces would probably resonate better with the target demographic.
There are 16 stages to conquer in 1943: The Battle of Midway, with 11 of them culminating in a battle against a huge battleship or aircraft carrier, and the remaining 5 featuring a confrontation against bomber aircraft, both large and small. The eventual aim is to sink the legendary Japanese battleship Yamato, and in pursuit of that goal you’ll have a variety of different weapon powerups to make use of, each of which are useful in different situations.
So that’s 5 of our top TATE mode games on Evercade EXP — now it’s over to you! What are your favourite TATE mode games on Evercade EXP? Stop by Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or Discord and come tell us all about your top picks!
With over 260 games available